After a former U.S. envoy to Ukraine completed over eight hours of closed door testimony on Thursday, Democrats released a series of text messages among U.S. diplomats and Ukrainian officials, which showed President Donald Trump wanted an investigation by Ukraine of the 2016 election, before Mr. Trump would agree to host the leader of Ukraine at the White House.
"Heard from White House - assuming President Z (Zelensky) convinces trump he will investigate / "get to the bottom of what happened in 2016," we will nail down date for visit to Washington," said U.S. envoy Kurt Volker.
President Trump's interest in an investigation of the 2016 elections centers on his belief that Russia did not hack Democratic Party emails, instead making the argument that the cyberattack came from Ukraine.
One text showed the keen interest in the Trump-Ukraine meeting, and an announcement on a 2016 election investigation, as officials said the President "really wants the deliverable."
Reaction broke right along party lines.
"This unilateral and cherry-picked release by the Democrats is a desperate attempt to further their failing impeachment narrative," said a statement from Republicans on the House Oversight Committee.
Democrats saw it much differently, arguing it proved the President was looking for foreign nations to help him in the 2020 elections, as Mr. Trump on Thursday publicly called for Ukraine and China to investigate former Vice President Biden and his son.
"These texts are completely bonkers," said Rep. Sean Casten (D-IL), as Democrats said the information proved the story of a whistleblower from inside U.S. Intelligence.
“The texts make 100% clear,” said Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT), “Our top diplomat in Kiev says there was an "investigation for aid" quid pro quo.”
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